Marion High School Warriors Brody Carroll and Evan Slater wrestled their way to weight division championships Saturday at the Halstead Invitational tournament, leading Marion to a fourth-place finish out of 21 schools.
Marion had slipped to fifth in the standings at the beginning of the final round. Carroll and Slater were the only two Warriors to reach matches for first place. Beretta Janzen, Cole Lewman, Colten Johnson, and Kyle Palic qualified for final round consolation matches.
Carroll was the early aggressor in the 138-lb. championship against Austin Cook of Smoky Valley. Carroll took firm control in the second period, and held on for a 7-5 victory.
Slater squared off against Ryker Greenbaum of Douglass in the 220-lb. final. A takedown in the final seconds of the first period earned Slater 2 points. Greenbaum got one back with an escape in the second period, but Slater blocked all other scoring attempts for a narrow 2-1 decision and the championship.
Janzen wrestled in the third-place match in the 106-lb. division. He lost a 6-0 decision to Ty Nienke of Ellsworth to place fourth.
Lewman’s foe in the 152-lb. fifth-place match was Jesse Cramer of Douglass. Lewman scored in the second and third periods to win, 4-0.
Johnson had the third-place match in the 160-lb. class against Ethan Pykiet of Douglass well in hand, when in the third period he suddenly found himself within inches of being pinned. Johnson escaped and recovered to win a 10-4 decision.
Palic took on Luke Igo of Remington for fifth place in the 170-lb. division, but was overmatched by the Bronco wrestler in a 7-4 loss.
Slater’s win was the last match for Marion wrestlers, and the points he earned returned Marion to fourth place by the slimmest possible margin, 160.5 points to 160 for Central of Burden. Smoky Valley won the tournament with 219.5 points.
Marion head coach Chad Adkins was pleased with the team finish, but was tough in his critique of the team’s overall performance.
“Fourth is good, but we didn’t wrestle very well this weekend,” Adkins said. “We left a lot of points out there, we didn’t score when we could.”
Adkins said scoring points now is critical to the team’s future aspirations.
“When we get to the state tournament, our goal legitimately is to be state champions, and we can’t do that leaving points on the mat. We are going to have to have every single point we can score, period,” Adkins said.
“We’ll work on it,” Adkins said. “We’re going to continue to get better. Our young kids are close to winning a lot of matches.”
Beretta Janzen, 2-2; Eric Regnier, 1-2; Brody Carroll, 3-0; Zac Dvorak, 0-2; Cole Lewman, 3-2; Colten Johnson, 4-1; Kyle Palic, 1-3; Zac Lewman, 0-2; Nathan Cyr, 1-2; Evan Slater, 4-0 (results do not include bye rounds).